Mary Elston is an interdisciplinary scholar of Islam who examines politics, religion, and conceptual change in the late Ottoman, modern, and contemporary periods. Mary received her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 2020. Her book manuscript, “Above Time: Reviving Tradition in the Modern Muslim World”, combines historical and ethnographic methods to illuminate how Muslim religious scholars conceptualize tradition and mobilize this conceptualization to shape education, knowledge, and politics in contemporary Egypt. This research was supported by the Loeb Dissertation Research Fellowship in Religious Studies, the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, the American Research Center in Egypt, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Harvard University’s Center for African Studies and won the Alwaleed Bin Talal Prize for best dissertation in Islamic Studies at Harvard in 2020. From 2020-2021 Mary was a visiting fellow at the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School and a visiting researcher at Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies. She is currently the Alwaleed Bin Talal Postdoctoral Fellow in Islamic Studies at Harvard University.
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